Pinkberry Draws Mega Crowd to 2nd Canadian Opening

December 21, 2011

On December 1st, Pinkberry celebrated its Grand Opening at Metropolis at Metrotown, in British Columbia. The opening event drew a mega crowd of approximately 1500 people, who came from far and wide to get their swirly goodness, that is Pinkberry. Customers were served for free, throughout the evening.  

The store, Pinkberry's 2nd in Canada, is 850 sq.ft (with 20 ft frontage), and is located adjacent the mall's food court. The design is eye catching, modern and fun, as well as, sophisticated. From the pebble floor to the Philippe Stark lamps, the store has all of the typical Pinkberry stylings (see photos).

Pinkberry will continue to expand in Canada in 2012. Four new stores are expected to open in British Columbia. Further, the company anticipates opening its first stores in Alberta and Ontario. Size required 350-1000 sq.ft. Pinkberry will also consider kiosks - 250 sq.ft. Property-type: Super regional malls, high pedestrian street-front locations, and lifestyle centres.

Further to the above, I am pleased to announce that Pinkberry will be opening a kiosk location, in the new food court at Richmond Centre, in late summer of 2012.

About Pinkberry - Pinkberry reinvented the frozen yogurt category when it launched in West Hollywood, CA in January 2005. Today it is the most talked about, best tasting, premium frozen yogurt, made. Pinkberry is the original tart frozen yogurt with a clean finish and one-of-a-kind taste that is truly crave-able; one bite and you’ll be hooked! Pinkberry operate 110 stores (approx) in the US, Canada, UK, Russia, Peru, and Kuwait.

For more info on Pinkberry, please visit their website at Also, check out pics with Pinkberry's celebrity ambassadors Justin Beiber, Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Brees, Taylor Swift, Dana White....etc at

About Metropolis at Metrotown - The shopping centre is owned by Ivanhoe Cambridge, and is the largest enclosed shopping centre in the province of British Columbia, and 2nd largest in Canada. The mall has a GLA of approximately 1.8 million sq.ft, with 450 stores. Anchors include: The Bay, Zellers (to be converted to Target in 2013), Sears, T&T Supermarket, Silver City Cinemas, Atmosphere\Sport Chek...etc. The mall is also home to other top retailers such as Apple, Aritzia, Lululemon, Coach, Zara, F21, Sephora, Fossil….etc.

I'd like to thank Ron Clarke, Leasing Director Western Region, for Ivanhoe, for all of his efforts, help, and patience in competing this transaction. Ron is always pleasant, reasonable, well skilled, and very effective.  

Happy Holidays - Let it Swirl, Let it Swirl, Let it Swirl.

Le Creuset Opens Flagship Quebec Location at Carrefour Laval

December 16, 2011

In late November, cookware icon Le Creuset opened its first location in La Belle Province - Quebec, at Carrefour Laval. The flagship signature store (1350 sq.ft), unveils Le Creuset's new design prototype, which is absolutely beautiful. Please click on the here to view the awesome 360° image of the store.

Le Creuset currently operate 3 locations in Canada (Sherway Gardens & Chinook Centre, and now Carrefour Laval), and are prepared to consider further expansion. The following markets are of interest: Edmonton, Ottawa, Quebec City, and Vancouver. Size required 1300-1600 sq.ft (with 25 ft frontage). Property type - super regional malls.

Le Creuset was founded in 1925, in Fresnoy Le Grand, in northern France. The artisan quality that continues today, has made Le Creuset the pre-eminent cast-iron brand worldwide. Since 1987, the company has been privately owned by Paul Van Zuydam and is self financed. Le Creuset enjoys distribution in 28 countries. The company operates over 110 stores in 15+ countries. Le Creuset was recently included in the 'Top 100 Worldwide Brands' by the Times of London in.

Carrefour Laval - The shopping centre is located in Laval (15 minutes north of Montreal). Size - 1.3 million sq.ft, with approx 273 stores.  In terms of performance, with sales in excess of $700 psf, Carrefour Laval is the top mall in Quebec. Anchors include: Simons, The Bay, and Sears. The mall is home to top brands such as Apple, Zara, H&M, Michael Kors, F21, Armani A\X, Fossil...etc. The shopping centre is owned by Cadillac Fairview.

I'd like to thank Jean de Repentigny (Leasing Executive - Eastern Portfolio) of Cadillac Fairview, for bringing forth this opportunity and, as well, for his assistance in negotiating this transaction. Jean is a fantastic deal maker and a pleasure to work with.

For more information on Le Creuset, please visit

Fossil Inc. Reports Record 3rd Quarter Results

November 10, 2011

Fossil Inc. reported earnings for the 13 week (3rd quarter) and 39 week (Nine month period) periods ended October 1/11, and the results were fantastic, and exceeded Wall Street's expectations/forecasts. Here's a snapshot of the results:

Third Quarter Results (2011 vs 2010)

- Net sales increased 22.7% to $642.9 million compared to $523.8 million
- Gross Profit rose 20.3% to $359.5 million compared to $298.7 million
- Operating income increased 6.8% to $118.8 million compared to $113.3 million
- Global retail comp sales increased by 14.1% (8th consecutive quarter of double digit same store sales)

Nine Month Period Results (2011 vs 2010)

- Net sales increased 30.6% to $1.74 billion compared to $1.33 million
- Gross Profit rose 28.9% to $973.3 million compared to $755 million
- Operating income increased 31.2% to $297.6 million compared to $226.9 million

Congratulations to Fossil. Keep up the great work.

I am also pleased to report that Fossil Inc recently announced a strategic partnership with Karl Lagerfeld to design, develop, and distribute a line of men's and women's timepieces under the Karl Lagerfeld lable. Karl Lagerfeld is an icon for creativity and a beacon for the spirit of fashion globally. The exciting collaboration will leverage Fossil's design and distribution expertise with the essence of creativity and style that is synonymous with the Karl Lagerfeld brand. The first timepiece collection is scheduled to be launched in spring 2013 under the name of Karl Lagerfeld.

In other Fossil news, the company recently opened at Fairview Park in Kitchener, Ontario, and continue to look at Canada, for growth opportunities. Super-regional malls and high pedestrian street-front locations will be considered. Size required is 1500 sq.ft.

Fossil products are sold in 123 countries. The company operates 360 company owned stores.

For more information, please visit Fossil's website at

Canadian Retail Scene Continues to Sizzle

November 07, 2011

I am usually sending out blogs on our clients and their successes. This blog will be a little different.

I am fascinated by the continuing invasion of US and international retailers to Canada. The volume of retailers seeking space in Canada is staggering, and demand in the top properties, far outweighs the supply of available space. This is quite a contrast when compared with the retail landscape in the US and Europe, where demand is not great, and the supply if not plentiful, more than meets the level of demand. It's not surprising that US and European brands are flocking to Canada; sales are typically 25% higher and top-line profits more than exceed forecasts and projections. With this in mind, the love affair with Canada seems to be at its peak. Here's a short list of international brands that have recently or will soon open their 1st Canadian locations:  Microsoft, J Crew, Ted Baker, Bare Escentuals, Tory Burch, Free People, Kate Spade, Pinkberry, Pull-in, Express, Johnson & Murphy, Justice, Target...etc. While I can probably easily add another 20 retail brands to this list, I think you get the picture.

Pursuant to the above, I have attached the following articles for your review:

1. Competition fierce for retailers to get into high end malls (Montreal Gazette - October 29, 2011)
2. Higher mall rents come with higher sales ( - Sept 1, 2011)
3. Chinook Centre sales measure up to best (Calgary Herald - Oct 21, 2011)
4. US retail interest hikes rental rates on Ste.Catherine (Montreal Gazette)
5. Coach becomes latest retailer to enter Winnipeg market (Winnipeg Free Press - August 8, 2011)

For those of you considering entering Canada, these articles will provide a wealth of useful information.

Think Retail has developed and successfully implemented Canadian market entry strategies for many of today's top super-brands. We secure AAA retail locations annually, in all Canadian market from Vancouver to Newfoundland. Yorkdale, West Edmonton Mall, Toronto Eaton Centre, Robson Street, Rideau Centre, Carrefour Laval to Vaughan Mills - our clients have locations at the 50 yard line of these top retail centres\streets. If your company is looking to open in Canada, we'd like to share our experience and resources with you. We're offer valued added programs, initiatives and solutions to ensure the success of your Canadian real estate program.

I will be attending the ICSC conference in New York on December 5-6 and would be pleased to meet with you and exchange ideas and insight to the Canadian retail climate. Please contact me to schedule a meeting.

Hot Fudge Hat Trick - 3 New Stores to Open

October 31, 2011

Branded fashion accessories specialist, Hot Fudge has confirmed 3 new store openings for the province of Quebec.

In March 2012, Hot Fudge will open at Place du Royaume, in Chicoutimi. The store will be 1000 sq.ft and is strategically situated at the mall's 50 yard line, next to Bentley and facing Garage and Jacob. Place du Royaume is owned by Primaris, and is the top performing centre in Quebec's Saguenay region (350,000 people). The centre is approximately 600,000 sq.ft with 180 stores. Thanks to Nat Weinstein for his help and efforts in completing this transaction. Nat keeps the process simple and is always a pleasure to work with.

In May, Hot Fudge opens in Montreal's south shore at Promenades Saint-Bruno. The 1500 sq.ft store will be on the upper level adjacent Geox, Le Chateau, and Jack & Jones. Promenades St.Bruno (owned by Cadillac Fairview) is 1 million square feet, with approximately 200 stores. The centre is anchored by Simons, The Bay, Sears, and Zellers (soon to be Target). In terms of performance, Promenades Saint-Bruno is the #5 shopping centre in Quebec, with sales of approximately $534 psf. Thanks to CF's Dave Azran, with whom this deal was negotiated and concluded. Dave is very passionate and I find his enthusiasm refreshing and contagious. Keep up the good work Dave.

Finally, in July, Hot Fudge will opens its first store in Montreal, at the Montreal Eaton Centre. The premises will be 1165 sq.ft (35 ft frontage) is ideally positioned at the heart of the metro level, adjacent Sirens and Stitches, facing Body Shop and Laura Secord. Montreal Eaton Centre is located in downtown Montreal,  and boasts approx 26 million annual visitors - #1 in Quebec. Furthermore, with sales of $675 psf, Eaton Centre is the #2 performing mall in the province of Quebec. This deal would not have been completed without the efforts of Eric Fortier, Leasing Director for Ivanhoe Cambridge. Eric is very talented and looks to be a star on the rise at Ivanhoe. He certainly has the right stuff.

In addition to the above, Hot Fudge would like to open one more store in Quebec, in 2012. Markets of interest include: Laval, Anjou, and Quebec City. Size required is 1350-1500 sq.ft.

At the moment, Hot Fudge operates two stores - Place Laurier and Les Rivieres. To date, these locations are performing exceptionally well and have strongly resonated with it brand-starved, core demographic (15-25).  
For more information on Hot Fudge, please visit their Facebook page at

On a personal note, I'd like to congratulate Hot Fudge owner, Joey Labrecque and his wife Genevieve, on the birth of their new daughter, Mandy (their 4th girl).

Pull-in Set to Revolutionize Canadian Retail Scene

October 25, 2011

We are pleased to announce that French underwear and swimwear specialist, Pull-in, have now confirmed their plans to open retail stores in Canada. Pull-in is a 20 store retail chain based in Hossegor, France, who design and wholesale, their own brand of upscale underwear, bathing suits, and lounge wear for men, women, and children. The company was founded in 2000, by uber-talented french designer and entrepreneur, Emmanuel Loheac.

Pull-in products and designs are influenced by the latest trends and yet high tech in their use of top quality fabrics. Further, Pull-in designs have revolutionized the conservative world of lingerie, with their uniquely fresh and creative, colourful prints. Pull-in has a list of celebrity ambassadors and athletes, including: Mickey Rourke, Dion Phaneuf, Snoop Dog, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Paris Hilton...etc .

Pull-in will open their first two Canadian store locations, in 2012, and are focused on the province of Quebec. Super regional malls and high pedestrian street-front locations (such as St.Denis) will be considered. Size required 600-1200 sq.ft. The company expects to open in Toronto in 2013. Currently Pull-in operates stores in France, Belgium, and the US.

For more info, please visit Pull-in's website at